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Guest Post: The Perfect PWD.

I am in a meeting in NYC today with some of my favorite fellow PWDs, and while I'm traveling, fellow diabetes blogger Heidi has offered to both introduce herself to the blogosphere and guest post. 

Heidi is a 27 year old from the Philadelphia suburbs who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago.  She recently started a blog to share her experiences with family, friends, and the diabetes community.  Similar to many of us, she works to successfully manage her diabetes while balancing her time between her job in Corporate Finance and the things that make her the happiest which include running (she is training for a triathlon!) and spending time with her family and friends.  And today, she's guest posting about the perception of diabetes perfection.

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Thank you for guest posting today, Heidi!I am not perfect.

All you perfectionists out there like me take a deep breath and say it with me: I am not perfect. I am not perfect in any aspect of my life, including how I manage my type 1 diabetes.

I am conscientious about managing my disease, but I still need to live my life. Even if I were the “perfect person with diabetes” there would still be unexpected highs and lows.

I am not perfect, or more to the point, I am not my pancreas which...actually, on second thought, isn't perfect at all, since it conked out on me and left me to manage my blood sugar myself. I am not perfect, but despite my perfectionist tendencies, I can laugh at my imperfection.

The perfect person with diabetes treats only with glucose tabs or juice when his or her blood sugar is low. (I, on the other hand have been known to raid my cabinet eating Cheerios in cool whip and peanut butter covered anything.) The perfect person with diabetes changes his or her lancet & needles with each and every use. (I know it’s unsanitary but who has the time or energy to change it everytime?! )

The perfect person with diabetes weighs all food, checks all ingredient labels and never leaves home without a calorie king book. (Can you say “educated guess”?) The perfect person with diabetes never restarts his or her CGM sensor to make it last for longer than a week. (hey, economic times are tough!) The perfect person with diabetes never forgets his or her insulin or lets it run out at inconvenient times. (At least it’s a good excuse to leave work early!)

The perfect person with diabetes never gets frustrated over high numbers resulting in any of the following: crying, anger or screaming. And he or she never takes it out on his or her significant others. (If I’m really stressed, just the sight of a “bad” blood glucose reading can bring me to tears. And let’s just say that my boyfriend can usually tell if my blood sugar is high.) The perfect person with diabetes makes sure every used test strip makes it to its rightful home. (I find test strips in my bed, washing machine and even found one once on my sidewalk.)

The perfect person with diabetes never ignores his or her alarming pump or CGM device. (I know- bad habit but sometimes in my sleep it ends up turned off and shoved under a pillow.) The perfect person with diabetes never skips the gym for a last minute happy hour. (What can I say? I love white wine and appetizers!)

It is obvious that none of us dealing with diabetes can be the perfect or model patient all the time. We do the best we can day by day to stay healthy and happy and control our diabetes while maintaining a sense of “normalcy” in our lives. We keep our heads held high and find inner strength and optimism to accept the fact neither we nor our numbers will ever be perfect.

All of us “imperfect” people with diabetes deserve to know we do a really great job dealing with the far from perfect hand life has dealt us.

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Heidi, I totally agree.  Perfection is an impossible goal, but happy is a pretty darn achievable one.  Thank you so much for posting today. 

Comments

Heidi,
I am so proud of you! you are a super star. I think this officially makes you an uber communicator! Congrats!
:) MK

Hear hear. Great post. We'll never be perfect, but I think it makes me as a PWD even stronger. They say failure is the quickest way to success. I fail everyday, and so i learn every day, and get better at understanding my body - a much better position to be in than someone without D.

So keep being imperfect Heidi, you're just perfect that way ;) btw just to share - i had a "perfect" run of bgs yesterday, lowest 104 and highest 140, i tweeted this, feeling stoked. 2 hours later, struggling to sleep and sweating in my sheets - hypo. Bugger. Ah well. ;)

This wonderful post goes with us Type 3's as well. I'm really hard on myself because I am not perfect. Seeing a higher number on the boys' monitors used to drop my self esteem down a whole level. But we can only do our best...and you are so right, nobody is perfect.

I really liked this post! It was fun to read and oh so true!! I think I'm on your side on every single one of those... :) And I also agree, we're doing just fine- and HAPPY!

Great post, and so good to welcome you to the ever-growing DOC, Heidi! As I always say: "I'm perfect at being imperfect." So, welcome to the club and look forward to seeing (er, reading) you around campus.

HI FIVE! It's good to be surrounded by imperfect company :)

Welcome Heidi - I am so thrilled that Kerri had you post! The post was, well, perfect, even if we all are imperfect at this whole diabetes management game. I am the mom to a T1 8 year old gal in Philly. We must meet up sometime! Thanks for posting.

Great post, Heidi! Lots of Philly representation on SUM these days!

I liked this post! It really resonates with me, because I deal with pretty much every "imperfection" listed on there. Yes, diabetes is a big part of my life, but I have a life apart from diabetes. I'm constantly trying to find the balance between the two.

Heidi, Great post!!! I've been dealing with Diabetes for 30 years or so and find it refreshing to know I'm not the only one that blows off the gym for a last minute Happy Hour!! My wife usually knows before I do when my BS is out of wack, It's great to have someone to lean on and support me when I just don't have the energy to push myself!! Thanks for the post

Heidi, I went over and read your blog. I'm a T1 diagnosed 3 years ago at 31. This is a great post! I love to see that I'm not the only one that skips the gym for happy hour! Speaking of, I used to live where you are now and I miss it!!! Lots of fun happy hour places. I hope you are enjoying it!!!

Thought I responded yesterday, but don't see my comments. Am Type 1 (30+ years) AND have chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) for 10+ years. So THANKS for representing on the TNT program as a Type 1 athlete AND for raising money and awareness for blood cancers!!

A shout out from Phoenixville - we Philly Type 1ers really SHOULD get together for drinks, chats and maybe a fun(d)raiser for your TNT efforts? How would we go about that....?

Kristin

Thank you so much for this post. I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately with managing type 1 diabetes and being a new mom. This made my day :)

I loved LOVED your post. Very bolstering! I had to laugh about the "finding test strips around the house" comments. I find them in pockets. I once read an article that connected overall happiness to greater longevity among Diabetics than even tight control among people who described themselves as unhappy/regularly stressed. I try to remember that when I get a "bad" blood sugar and just support myself in the best way I can in the moment. But yes, there are sometimes tears and some stomping around the house.

Philly area T1s should definitly get together! Phoenixville is so close to me. I'm in Malvern.

I love this post. This was the perfect post for me--because I try to be such a perfectionist! Sometimes I have to step back and remember that I am doing the best I can. We all fall down sometimes, but we just pick ourselves back up and try harder next time. Thanks for sharing--I really enjoyed reading it!

Excellent post--my friends and family are always commenting on a test strip straggler they might find in the house or the car... at first it made me feel bad/embarrassed that they had to pick these up, until I realized they were all telling me this because it made them smile to think of me! :)

Wow, great post, it's not very often that I read an entire article and nod, smile and appreciate every item! I'm with you, cheers to trying for almost perfect! ;)

Lisa and Heidi and anyone interested in the Philly area,

Write me at honeybearwolf (at) earthlink (dot) net and I'll try to arrange a get-together for us. Ignore the spam filter message you'll get back - I can bust through it mannually.

How fun! Will be great to chat with some fellow T1 women and lend support, suggestions and generally hang out!

I think you forgot one thing: the perfect person with diabetes NEVER has any lows or highs -- is always between 80 and 120, even after eating pizza. (Did I say "eating pizza"? The perfect person with diabetes would NEVER eat pizza because it's unhealthy for ANYBODY to eat! The perfect person with diabetes always eats perfect portion sizes of organic food, freshly prepared from scratch, locally sourced...)

Great to meet you Heidi! Glad to find you, and I'll swing by your blog as often as I can.

This is a great post, and I laughed out loud at the cheerios IN whipped cream! That is fantastic! :-)

Heidi! Thanks for sharing. Keep on searching for the happiness in every day. Love you!

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